The Tim Mcdonagh Interview…
MD: Where are you from? How long have you been working professionally and how did you get your start?
Tim Mcdonagh: I was born in the UK and then moved to the States for a while during my childhood and then back over here to the UK, I’m based in sunny Brighton at the moment. I haven’t been working professionally for very long, it’s just coming up to a year so it’s still all quite new to me. I was lucky enough to get signed to an illustration agency just as I was finishing university, I gathered some exposure from that and it kind of acted as a springboard for where I am now.
MD: Can you explain your method of using Indian Ink and what exactly that is?
TM: Yeah, for me it’s all about the ink, it’s the part of my work that I enjoy the most. I would pencil out the image first, getting the composition and drawing right and then I would go over the pencils using mostly brush and ink, sometimes touching up with isograph pens. It took a long time to start to get the results I wanted with the brush and there is a ton of rubbish drawings sitting under my bed because of it but it was something I really admired in other illustrators work and something I wanted to pursue.
MD: Tell us about the D&AD award you won, and your experience with that….
TD: It was quite a shock really, a nice one though. It really helped boost my confidence as an illustrator right before leaving university. Also, I recieved some of my first briefs because of that award aswell as managing to sell original pieces of artwork. I didn’t really see myself working properly as an illustrator for at least a couple of years after university, I thought it would just be building my portfolio in that time and slowly gathering together names to send stuff off to. Everything has moved alot quicker than that though and I think the D&AD is partly to thank.
MD: What are the earliest images you remember, that have influenced your style?
TD: Well when I was younger I loved comic books, but never really superhero comics. It was more stuff like Asterix The Gaul, Garfield, Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. I think they had quite an effect on me when I was younger, especially Calvin and Hobbes which I still read today. Also those books where it would show you the inside of an old castle or ship and you could see each individual room, beautifully illustrated and ridiculously detailed. I think that’s where my love of details originates from. When the Star Wars ones came out though, wow, what a day.
If you could read one persons Diary, who would it be and why?
– Adrian Tomines. I would hope there would be thumbnails, unused comic book stories, some drawings that had gone really bad that he didn’t want anyone to see etc etc. Just so I could know that everything he does doesn’t turn to gold.
MD: Can you tell us about a client you enjoy working with and why?
TM: Last year I worked with Guy’s Hospital as part of a team of artists who were involved with the design of the new chemotherapy unit. My task was a massive hand drawn map to be framed within the unit, an “Atlas of Journeys” that was inspired by historical charts of voyages and discoveries, depicting emotions and experiences that were linked with the chemotherapy experience. Anyway, the wing was recently opened and it just reminded me how much I learnt from that project. Working on a massive scale, using coloured inks, tight deadlines, working with different artists, poets and architects.
Check out more of Tim’s Work at Mcdonagh Illustration
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